Progress, History and Identity in International Relations Theory: The Case of the Idealist-Realist Debate

  title={Progress, History and Identity in International Relations Theory: The Case of the Idealist-Realist Debate},
  author={Cameron G. Thies},
  journal={European Journal of International Relations},
  pages={147 - 185}
  • Cameron G. Thies
  • Published 1 June 2002
  • Sociology, Art
  • European Journal of International Relations
This article examines the link between disciplinary identity formation, history creation and progress by undertaking an excavation of the idealist-realist debate in International Relations theory. I demonstrate how the debate was framed by the realists, who constructed a unified `idealism' temporally located in the interwar period to be the straw man for the justification of their theories and the starting point for construction of the realist identity. The unified paradigm of `idealism' turns… 

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